The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) in Palawan is on alert against the entry of pork and other meat products from countries that are affected by the African swine fever (ASF) virus outbreak.
Dr. Freddie Glicerio Baaco Jr. said Thursday that the ban on the entry of meat products from ASF-affected countries was ordered by Agriculture Sec. Emmanuel Piñol.
The order was passed down in January after the virus hit Japan.
Baaco assured that no meat products have entered Palawan from Japan.
“Nag-co-confiscate kami ng undocumented meat and processed meat products na galing ng ibang bansa. Sa ngayon wala naman kasi sa Taipei (Taiwan) at Korea mostly galing ang mga karne natin,” Baaco said.
The ban is also imposed on pork and pork-based products from Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Moldova, Poland Romania, Russia, Ukraine, South Africa and Zambia.
Baaco said if the pork and pork-based products were imported from Japan before the ban, “they are not yet covered by the DA order.”
He added that the African swine fever is “a threat to the hog industry of the country because all of the affected animals died.”
Baaco said the agency conducted biosecurity measures through footbaths and signages at the airport and seaport.
The BAI has a footbath at the Puerto Princesa International Airport (PPIA) which is changed thrice a day due to the large number of passengers.
“Tagal ng inaano ‘yan (foot bath)… For disinfection ito na baka dala nila ‘yong germs na galing ng ibang bansa, kailangan mag-apak sila sa footbath… Tatlong beses namin dinidiligan ‘yong footbath sa airport kasi marami ngang pasahero,” Baaco pointed out.
He added the footbath has a 90 percent assurance to remove the germs from the passengers by soaking their feet on the footbaths.
The BAI has already confiscated a total of 60 kilograms of undocumented pork-based products from Taipei, Taiwan and Korea after the imposition of the ban.